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Dear Sarah

Sarah Stanley

Today's question is...
"What is the first step to going plant-based?"

SARAH SAYS:

What an insightful question! I’m so thrilled that you asked it.

When making the shift from eating animal product (meat, dairy, eggs), start by becoming aware of what’s on your plate. What percentage of animals are on your plate? Is meat taking center stage? What could you switch out for that steak/burger/meatloaf/roast? What is this choice doing to my health, my planet?

After getting in touch with what’s on your plate, begin to make at least one plant-powered choice a day. Can you start with breakfast? What about this beautiful breakfast bowl? Or how about having a Collard Green Wrap for lunch? For dinner try a Hemp Protein Packed Salad. Try a simple easy but nutrient-packed bowl of legumes, brown rice, Bragg Nutritional Yeast, pink sea salt, EVCO. Bonus is that a bowl of legumes and rice is economical too!

Once you get in the habit of making conscious eating choices your awareness will continue to move to the next level and over time animal product choices will fall away and plant-based choices will naturally fall into place.     

Become a label reading wizard! Read. Every. Label. Dairy lurks in many products. Which leads me to say this: we aren’t trying to replace meat products per say, but instead striving to eat as many fresh, organic plants as possible. Have your plate FILLED with these amazing, nourishing, nutrient-rich plants!

And be sure to check out this Dear Sarah for plant-based protein sources. 

Special note: I’m going to offer an I AM PLANTS course very shortly where you can learn how to eat plants alone. It’s quite simple, actually!
 

Additional resources to check out:

Forks Over Knives (documentary)

COWSPIRACY (documentary)

The Plantpower Way (book)

Plant-powered Families (book)

Sarah Stanley

Dear Sarah: Protein Plants

Today’s question:

“What are some common protein plant providers?”

 

SARAH SAYS:

I love answering this question! As a multi-sport, ultra endurance athlete, fueled by organic plants, people always ask where I get my protein!

Did you know that all vegetables (plants) have protein? Yup, that’s right! For example, a cup of chopped organic kale contains 67g of protein, 1 cup of avocado contains 146g (technically a fruit), 1 cup peas has 9g of protein, even organic lettuce contains protein (.5g/cup)! Protein abounds in plants and nature!

Moving on from specific vegetables and fruit protein count, we have hemp which is a complete protein meaning it has all the essential amino acids that our bodies need for optimal wellness. Hemp is also an amazing superfood- the nutritional profile of this plant can not be stated high enough! I use Manitoba Harvest exclusively.

Then there is quinoa (also a complete protein), a wide array of legumes (black beans, lentils, red lentils, garbanzo beans, kidney beans…), rice (to include wild, black, red, brown), nuts, seeds, spirulina. There is so much protein in plants!

Soy is also a protein source but because 98% of soy crops are GMO produced I don’t tend to recommend it as a protein source. If you want soy, it MUST be organic and preferably, fermented (i.e. tempeh).

The amazing thing about eating and living a plant-based lifestyle is that it’s anti-inflammatory, no cross-contamination when cooking or baking (you can eat raw cookie dough!), and if the right plant-based foods are chosen, packed with essential nutrients! [It’s important to remember that just because something is vegan doesn’t always equal health.]

Special note: I’m going to offer an I AM PLANTS course very shortly where you can learn how to live off of plants alone. It’s quite simple, actually!

Additional resources on plant-protein and the American obsession over protein:

Proteinaholic by Garth Davis, M.D.
Podcast with Garth Davis, M.D.

 

Sarah Stanley

Dear Sarah: Potato Moderation

Today’s question comes from Terry in Bluefield, Virginia. He asks:

“Are potatoes a good choice for an active person? As in eating on a regular basis?”

 

SARAH SAYS:

People like potatoes, don’t they?! From mashed potatoes to fries to hash browns to soup, the potato is versatile. But are they “healthy”?  Let me break it down for you.

First, it’s important to remember that not all potatoes are grown the same. With GMO potatoes available it is imperative to only buy organic potatoes.

Secondly, I wouldn’t advise daily consumption of potatoes as the ratio of carbs is high and the majority of people already have an unbalanced carb/fat/protein ratio. Instead, I would recommend having organic sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes (not to be confused with yams) are lower on the glycemic index. Additionally, having potatoes every day doesn’t give your body other essential nutrients. I’d rather see you eating a variety of organic nutrients such as hemp, chia, wheat grass, maca, spirulina, coconut, avocado...the list is endless! There are so many wonderful real foods to be enjoyed, expand your repertoire of foods. :)

Thirdly, how do you plan to eat potatoes? Are you going to buy organic potatoes and prepare them in your kitchen at home? Or are you planning to eat McDonald's French Fries or T.G.I. Loaded Potato Skins?  

Lastly, everyone has a different definition of “active”. For some, that means strenuous physical activity for 6 hours every day while others think that doing 30 minutes on the elliptical 3 times a week is active! Being active is great but it doesn’t need to be used as a reason for justifying eating.  

Make these healthy potato “fries”! Note: these “fries” can be interchanged with sweet potatoes. 

Bottom line: always buy organic potatoes (grow your own if you can), go with potato variety such as Yukon Gold (they make the best mashed potatoes!), fingerlings, purple, and of course sweet potatoes. Prepare your potato dishes at home with excellent quality organic ingredients. Have them as part of your meal, every now and then, but I wouldn’t recommend making them a daily habit as there are other essential nutrients your body needs!